I’ve been driving east and west on California’s Highway 46 for years and years, and was getting really tired of driving by the sign that said “Airplane and car Museum” with an arrow pointing North at Airport Road. So last week I was buzzing by there and decided it was finally time to buzz through there and see what what. So I did. And I was blown away by how cool this little place is. Actually not so little; the cars, serious military aircraft display, ephemera, automobilia, and militariana galleries are spread over a half dozen buildings and several acres.
And Paso is a wonderful and historic town; home to one of California’s original historic missions, and now a viable wine producing, golf and resort region. So it’s either a great destination for a weekend getaway, or worth a stop if you are just passing through. Some of the planes were bought and donated, and it looks like most of the car collection belongs to a family named Woodland. No matter, its ten bucks to get it and worth double that. You can drive there from Southern or Central Cali, or fly into the Paso Robles airport if you have private wings.
The property is impressive, with several buildings and hangars, including a variety of military vehicles in one building, a multipurpose building for events, and a full restoration and mechanics shop.
No matter, go there, and stop there. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. Honestly don’t miss this spot, it’s a hidden jewel, and among the coolest little museums you’ve never heard of. www.ewarbirds.org or 805/2238-9317. Not open every day, so check the calendar and hours on the website.
Lots of photos below, please enjoy.
This is the first room you see when you walk into the auto collection area. Talk about a good start.
The other wall of the first building. This collection is wonderfully varied between race cars and older street cars and classics, but some newer hardware too, like the yummy Ford GT.
Central California has a history rich in midget, sprint, and Indy Car racing, so you’ll see a variety of all that, plus a few NASCAR pieces. All cool, and some very historic.
Not sure about you, but I’ve had this dream; a great ’32 Ford hot rod and a lovely young woman in short shorts to help me detail and wrench on it, or just stand around and be hot.
Most of the galleries are straightforward rows of cars, but some are diaoramic. This Parnelli Jones Roadster display was particularly attractive. Lots of great stuff on the walls, posters, photos, and other ephemera.
Lots of Indycars from all eras.
A real live AAR Eagle, built by our friends in nearby Santa Ana, California, the Gurneys.
If you like traditional sprinters and midgets, you’ll be happy here.
Plenty of damn fine early iron on hand.
Yes, and hot rods too.
Gotta have some petroliana too!
Get your motors running…
Never tired of a great Gullwing; nice colors and in show quality condition.
You had me at hello: I’m not as much of a wingnut as I am a four wheeled motorhead, but I love DC3s, commercial or military. And that’s what this C-47 SkyTrain is, the military version of the McDoug DC3. With a top speed of over 200mph, and a full tank range of about 2000 miles, this grumbling old bird could go anywhere and do most anything, troop mover or cargo hauling. 2400 horsepower certainly sounds appealing to me.
This F-14 Tomcat lived a long military life serving in many wars, and even though wasn’t the best performing plane the Air Force ever had, it’s still one badass bit of kit.
Wing tanks, a ton of style, and a dual cockpit canopy could only mean this is a Lockheed T-33 A trainer. Cool.
Lots of great aircraft to walk around and see, all up close and personal with no ropes or fences to keep you away.
Tank you for visiting. Tank you very much!